Russia's largest lender, state-owned Sberbank, intends to buy a major stake in Troika Dialog investment bank, a source familiar with the deal said Tuesday.
Sberbank has long been seeking to diversify its business away from traditional lending and depository operations.
The source said Sberbank would buy "a major stake, almost everything, including the Standard Bank shares."
Troika Dialog's core shareholders are South Africa's Standard Bank, which owns 36.4 percent and a partnership of the company's 130 employees. Among them is Ruben Vardanyan, Troika Dialog chief executive, who is reported to hold the bulk of the company's shares.
Another source in the financial circles told RIA Novosti on Monday that Sberbank would buy Troika Dialog's investment and banking business gradually, within two to three years.
In December, Sberbank head German Gref said the bank would launch its investment business in the first quarter of 2011 by either buying a company or setting up an investment unit on its own.
MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti)